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black propaganda
9.9.06

How Human Rights Watch lost its way in Lebanon (via information clearing house) By Jonathan Cook : The measure of a human rights organisation is to be found not just in the strides it takes to seek justice for the oppressed and victimised but also in the compromises it makes to keep itself out of trouble. Because of the business that human rights defenders are in, they must be held to a standard higher than we demand of others. Unfortunately, one of the best -- Human Rights Watch -- has failed that test during the war in Lebanon this summer. To its credit, HRW has risked much opprobrium for taking Israel to task for systematically breaking international law during its assault on Lebanon. That has culminated in a predictable campaign of harassment by pro-Israel organisations in the US -- as well as by the usual suspects like Alan Dershowitz -- that have accused its researchers of libelling Israel and being anti-Semitic. Such attacks reached an obscene pitch after HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, observed in publicity material accompanying a recent report that Israel appeared to have treated south Lebanon as a “free-fire zone” and that its strikes had failed to distinguish between civilians and Hizbullah fighters.